May 31, 2020

Leadership Fuel 3: Sense making, choices & portals

Alex Wickert

Here is your fortnightly Leadership Fuel newsletter – a dose of clarity and insight for a complex and distracted world.

1. A word from us
Whilst the world we inhabit is always shifting in a fluid and fast-paced fashion, for many of us this past few months represent the single greatest period of change and disruption we’ve experienced in our lifetimes.

Yet despite the fact many nations are beginning to relax lock-down restrictions as they commence ‘coming back’, we are yet to experience the full force of flow-on effects and downstream consequences that will inevitably impact our communities, economies, governments and ecosystems for years to come.

It isn’t all bad news though. Families and loved ones around the world are enjoying unprecedented levels of intimacy and quality time spent together, office workers are delighting in increased productivity and not having to waste precious hours in peak-hour traffic every day, new industries are being created over night – the list of silver linings goes on…

In the end, what we make of this experience will be determined by the quality of the ideas, mindsets and attitudes we choose to bring to our current context. These elements create our lens and capacity for collective sense-making and ultimately decide the actions we take as we step forward into this new world.

No-one has better articulated this choice than the great writer Arundhati Roy who observed:

“Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next.

We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.”



2. A question to consider

“Am I doing this for Present Me or Future Me?”
–  James Clear


3. Fuel for thought

A book to read

+ Stillness is the key – Another excellent tome by Ryan Holiday exploring the power of stillness – the ability to be steady, focused and calm in a constantly busy world. The other books in this trilogy are also great reading: Ego is the Enemy & The Obstacle is The Way.

Articles to check-out

+ The pandemic is a portal – This article by Arundhati Roy is a moving reflection on the impact of COVID-19 and how we can best approach it collectively for our future prosperity.

+ It’s time to build – Important musings by Marc Andreesen on how we can best respond to the pandemic in his first essay for over a decade.

Videos to watch

+ The last dance – This series is an excellent behind-the-scenes look at Michael Jordan’s years at the Chicago Bulls and how he cemented his status as the greatest player of all time. This isn’t just for basketball fanatics – it’s a fascinating examination of leadership, sustaining peak-performance, managing big egos, overcoming obstacles, organisational politics and social pressure in the pursuit of winning.


4.  A final thought to ponder

“You really don’t own anything in life. When you’re born, and you come out of your mother’s womb, and you’re kicking and screaming, and you go through your 60, 70, 80, 90 years of life, you think that you own stock and money, and this, that, and the other, but really, you don’t own anything, because it all disappears, it all goes away, and you die, and there’s nothing left. The only thing, the only thing that you own, the only thing that we can say is that you own time. You have so much time to live. … Let’s just say you have 85 years to live. That is yours … Alive time is time that’s your own. Nobody tells you what to do, nobody is commanding you how to spend it. … Taking ownership of your time means I only have this much time to live, I’d better make the most of it, I’d better make it alive time, I’d better be urgent, have a bit of an edge, be aware of each moment as it’s passing and not in a fog.”

– Robert Greene (Author)

Thank you again for choosing to be part of our community and we hope you find great value in this newsletter.

Warmest regards,
Alex & the Adapt Leadership team

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